Nuclear Free Great Basin Campaign

Declaration for a Nuclear Free Great Basin

The legendary, ancestral lands of the Indigenous Peoples have been used for testing nuclear weapons, experimenting with biological and chemical warfare agents, incinerating and burying hazardous wastes, and mining uranium. This disproportionate toxic burden has culminated in the current attempts to dump much of the nation’s nuclear waste in the Great Basin.

We’ve long been assured of the safety of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. We’ve found out the hard way they are anything but safe. Federal and State governments have neglected to take responsibility for the health problems that have resulted from this toxic legacy, especially to Downwinders and uranium mining victims. They have also neglected their fiduciary responsibility to Native Nations, which has resulted in economic deprivation that has made our Native Nations vulnerable to economic blackmail and ecological abuses.

United, we commit to educate, organize, and empower our local communities to stop the pattern of abusing our natural environment. We commit to building a citizen campaign of awareness and action, to stop Private Fuel Storage and the Department of Energy from transporting nuclear waste across the country to Skull Valley and Yucca Mountain. We also commit to oppose the generation of more nuclear waste, and ensure the clean up of toxic and radiological contamination on Native lands and all people of color and disenfranchised communities of this country.

To accomplish this, we will promote sustainable, economic development for the Native Nations that are the target of these waste proposals. We will honor all treaty rights. We will take this issue to the states where PFS operates and hold their member utilities accountable for the waste they have produced.

Every living creature has a right to a healthy, sustainable, equitable, and safe environment. To meet these needs, all communities must have a viable and sustainable economic base that protects the diversity of our communities. Nuclear waste jeopardizes the most basic human right, which is a clean environment. We commit to end the cycle of abuse that has been initiated by our government and corporations.

Drafted at the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation, October 6-7, 2001, during the Nuclear Free Great Basin Gathering.